Monday, October 10, 2016

How to Integrate Music Concepts with Halloween Lessons

First of all, I want to wish you a happy October! I'm linking up with some amazing music teacher blogs and we'll be sharing ideas on how to integrate music concepts with Halloween lessons.

Teach? Learn? Seriously? With all that sugar that seems to be in the water and everything the students eat. How about a blog linky to give you some great recipes on how to "Brew" your Halloween lessons so that students continue to learn music concepts. 

Let's start with an old favorite! "Old Mother Witch". I came up with a bit different way to teach the song that you might want to try.  I gather students in a circle. I've hidden a penny somewhere in the room already. So I pull on a witch's hat and walk around the circle singing on ooo on so and mi-following the line of the melody. Then I sing the song again walking in and out of the circle and pointing at the children. I love to add a little drama-- I let the children answer the question honestly. I want to see if they will sing naturally on so-mi. Next I might ask the children to tell me a way we could change our voices so that when the answer is "yes" is sounds one way and when it is "no" it sounds differently. Hopefully they will recognize that "no" will be more speaking than singing-if not, I'll guide them by experimenting with both voices. Once we've figured that out, I'll ask if one of them might want to be the witch? I'll continue playing the game. I then use my visuals to show the notes and ask students to show the signs as they sing. Sometimes I'll focus on the quarter rest because I want the students to learn that music concept. So I have a dramatic "move" I use on the rest. It might be me posing with my arms out wide-or pointing at a child-whatever I use, I then connect the pose back to the music. Such a fun way to learn music concepts!

There's tons of fun Halloween lessons to choose from. I have a spooky video on YouTube-"Skin and Bones" with lessons in the video. There is an orff arrangement, guitar chords and movement activity-something for all grades K-6. The full resource is available at my store: "Halloween Song 'Skin and Bones' with Orff and Kodaly lessons"

I love scarves too! I have asked my students to show me with their scarf, how the music sounds. Identify ideas and emotions that are expressed through music and other disciplines. This activity helps them learn to identify ideas and emotions that are expressed through music. I have done this with them sitting and standing and also moving around the room. Some music selections I've used are,
Students love to perform their creations. I have asked them to work in small groups and create a story with their scarves that matches the music. A wonderful lesson for expression and showing how music and mood work together. It works very well for 1st through 4th grade. Or you can use these song selections with a Halloween Freeze Dance Activity. (I have a resource for actions here:Halloween Brain Breaks) 
Hector Berlioz- Symphonie Fantastique- Movements 4 and 5 (March to the Scaffold and Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath)
John Carpenter- "Halloween"
Frederic Chopin- Funeral March
Michael Jackson- "Thriller"
Camille Saint-Saens- "Danse Macabre"
Franz Schubert- "Der Erlkonig"Stephen Sondheim- "Sweeney Todd"
Lindsey Stirling- "Moon Trance"
Andrew Lloyd Webber- "Phantom of the Opera"
John Williams- "Jaws and Harry Potter"
YouTube has some great selections too:
 Edvard Grieg "Peer Gynt Suite: In the Hall of the Mountain King"
Bach: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor

Carl Orff's Carmina Burana- O Fortuna:

Halloween Rhythm and Composition Activities with Instruments
These activities are perfect for Halloween and keep students learning music concepts. Although the rhythms are easy-playing the instruments is a bit more difficult-so even my 4th graders will get into this one. (I have plans to make an upper elementary version) My students are listening to the beat, playing rhythms and reading out loud. It's a great literacy/music activity!
Depending on when Halloween comes during the week, I might have a class time where I want to do creative movement and a writing/coloring activity. I know that the students get really wired from all the Halloween activities-and so sometimes a SUPER SILENT ACTIVITY -SSA (not sheet music) is required. I've got a great FREEBIE-Listening Activities for my readers who might need this kind of help during October! 
I'll play some spooky musical selections as my students color. I choose from the selections I've included in the scarf or Brain Break activity above.  I like to talk about the pictures first and discuss what they are coloring. At the end of class I do what I call and "Art Walk". The students stand in a circle and hold their pictures in front of me. I can't do the art walk with any talking! I walk around the circle and compliment each student's work. They love to show me their pictures! I also like my students to be able to go home and "tell" others what they learned in music class. So I have them echo me..."today I learned was fun because....I listened to...." and other sentences to help them talk about their music class experiences. I am my only music education advocate-and so I enlist the help of my students to spread the good word!

Halloween and Fall  Music Class Listening and Coloring Gly
No matter what I choose to use as my October lessons-I try to keep a balance between learning and fun! 
It's a good time to review the rules, maybe have a little competition between classes for the "best" Halloween class time, and bring out a little drama. 
And don't forget to subscribe to my monthly newsletter-I've got creative and useful music lessons coming your way.
You might also like to read: How to Have a Howling Good Time in Music 

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